by Henry Law
"Take a census of the whole Israelite community by their clans and families, listing every man by name, one by one. You and Aaron are to number by their divisions all the men in Israel twenty years old or more who are able to serve in the army." Numbers 1:2-3
These verses bring us to the camp of Israel still circling Sinai's base. Christian thought—waiting for dews of heavenly grace—delights to linger here. Let us observe the people closely. They are snatched by God's hand from tyrannizing foes. A miracle of care supplies their daily needs. A moving pillar guides their way. The law has been repeated to them amid terrific phenomena. Moreover they are fenced around by strict peculiarities of social custom and of typical worship. Their contact with the world is broken. They move amid the nations of the earth, as a stream flowing through the ocean's bed, unmingling with contiguous waves. God near, with sheltering arms, is their defense. Goodness and mercy guard their present steps. The land of promised rest is the horizon of their hopes.
Reader, these annals are a historic mirror. They picture a heavenly Father's special dealings with each child of faith. In every age and place there is an Israel thus mercifully loved, and led, and fed. The antitype will never fail, until the last Christian's course is run.
Hence precious teaching meets us in the study of this chart. We often err and fail, through dim discernment of our state. Peace would abound, and comforts cheer, and strength put forth more vigor, if right perceptions shed a clearer light. Let us, then, view ourselves in Israel's varied story. Our every step finds counterpart in them.
The parallel is quickly drawn. They once groaned bitterly in cruel bondage. But mercy set them free. Believer, you too were once a slave at Satan's will. He ruled you with an iron yoke. But now the chain is broken, and you rejoice, the ransomed freed-man of the Lord. Egypt is escaped. The tyrant holds you not.
Table of Contents
The Numbered People
The Threefold Blessing
The Silver Trumpets
The Rising and the Resting Prayer
Grapes of Eshcol
The Budded Rod
The Red Heifer
The Brazen Serpent
Jacob's Star and Israel's Scepter